HOW TO HELP
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Become a CASA Volunteer
CASA Volunteers are individuals just like you from all walks of life. They are compassionate, objective and self-motivation in working to provide consistency in an abused and/or neglected child’s life. Children with an open case in the court system face a frightening and uncertain future. The support, encouragement and advocacy of the CASA Volunteer can be invaluable in helping the child have a safe, secure, and permanent home to grow and thrive.
A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer is appointed by a judge to speak for the best interest of children brought into the judicial system as victims of abuse or neglect. Volunteers are trained in the areas of courtroom procedures, effective advocacy techniques, drug and alcohol issues, and ways to spot abuse. CASA volunteers spend time with children and their families and are in contact with Department of Children and Families (DCF) personnel, school staff, medical and mental health agencies, foster families or others who might have information relating to their cases. Before a child is scheduled to appear in court, the CASA volunteer writes a report to the judge and makes recommendations about what the CASA volunteer feels would be in the best interest of the child.
The Role of a CASA Volunteer
CASA volunteers get to know the child they are assigned to by talking with individuals in the child’s life who can address child and family functioning. This may include parents and relatives, foster parents, school teachers, medical and mental health professionals, daycare providers, social workers, and others.
Information gathered is provided to the judge and others to be used to determine the child’s needs and what is in their best interest.
A CASA volunteer fulfills six main roles:
- Meet with the child regularly;
- Gather information from individuals who can address child and family functioning; such as foster parents, social workers, teachers, caregivers, therapists, etc.;
- Determine the needs of the child and advocate for any unmet needs;
- Write a court report to the juvenile court judge for each hearing concerning the child. This report reviews the information the advocate has gathered regarding the child and parents, states what the child would like for the judge to know, and contains recommendations the CASA volunteer believes are the child’s best interest.
- Attend court hearings and case plan staffing regarding the child;
- Monitor the case by doing all the above until the child is placed in a safe, permanent, and nurturing home.
REQUIREMENTS TO BE A CASA VOLUNTEER
CASA volunteers have varied schedules and different occupational backgrounds. Whether you work full-time, part-time, are retired or a stay-at-home individual, becoming a CASA volunteer could be for you if you:
- Have concern for the welfare of children
- Are a minimum of 21 years of age
- Can satisfactorily pass a fingerprint background check (includes social security verification, criminal background check and sex offender registry checks)
- Are objective and non-judgemental
- Can maintain confidentiality regarding all case information
- Have a schedule that allows for attendance of Court hearings (usually once every three months) and case plan staffing (one time every six months)
- Have enough time in your schedule to spend 10-15 hours a month visiting with a child, talking with individuals who have information on child and family functioning, and working on behalf of a child
- Can participate in 12 hours of continuing education training per year (varies from case to case – an estimate of 18 months)
- Can make a minimum commitment to last for the duration of the child’s case
- Have good written and verbal communication skills
- Possess basic computer skills such as email and typing (word processing)
- Have reliable transportation
OPTIONS TO APPLY ONLINE
For more information we offer two options – download the volunteer application and email the application to [email protected] or apply online by completing the online form.
Have Questions? Contact us.
OTHER OPTIONS TO HELP US
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Support Tri-county CASA
Invite a CASA Staff Member or volunteer to present a program to a community or civic group.
Present an in-service training workshop or topic about which you have professional expertise.
Recruit volunteers by talking with friends and co-workers.
Help with a fundraiser, or contact businesses for in-kind donations for a fundraiser, special event, or volunteer recognition.
Distribute CASA information within the community.
Serve on the Tri-County CASA Board of Directors.
Make a Donation.
BE THE DIFFERENCE
Donate to a Childs Future
With your gift to CASA, you can help our program provide the very best volunteer advocacy for child and abuse victims in our community. Your financial contribution will assist with recruiting and training volunteers and providing advocacy services for child victims.
Tri-County CASA, Inc. is a 501 c (3) nonprofit charitable organization that funds its mission through monetary donations, in-kind donations, fundraising efforts, and grants. All donations are tax deductible. We can not help child abuse/neglect victims without your support.
We accept monetary donations, in-kind donations, and fundraising.
THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ADVOCACY
Research supports the effectiveness of CASA’s best interest advocacy.
- Over 93% of Judges report a positive overall experience with CASA volunteers.
- The portion of children re-entering the foster care system is consistently reduced by half.
- Children and youth assigned a CASA/GAL volunteer reported significantly higher levels of hope. A child’s hope has been linked to numerous positive outcomes such as academic success, overall wellbeing, increases in self-control, positive social relationships, and optimism.
- Findings indicates that children with court-appointed special advocates tender to receive more social services and received fewer placements. They tended to perform better academically and behaviorally in school that academic year.